The island of Santorini
The history of Santorini
Origins:The island of Santorini today represents only a fraction of a volcanic land mass that had existed, tumultuously for ages. Once the circular extension of a volcanic cone the island was inhabited by traders and farmers influenced by the Minoan civilization. From art found at the ruins of Akrotiri it has been determined that these people had a well developed culture and extensive contact with the world of the Aegean. Some speculate that this civilization was the Atlantis that Plato described.
The catastrophe: At some time around 1500 BC the civilization on Thera was to be swept away. The volcano in the center of the island awoke and exploded, causing what is purported to be the most violent eruption in history. Mountains of ash and debris were hurled into the air, and incredible tidal surges of over 200m swept through the Aegean. The majority of Thera sank into the vacuum left by these surges, creating the island formation of Santorini, Thirasia, and Aspronisi.
Modern day: The island fluctuated in importance and influence as a piece of the Delian league and the Persian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman Empires. Christianity spread to the island during the 3rd century, and orthodoxy has defined the culture of the island since. A devastating earthquake in 1956 once again threatened to make the island obscure, yet recent interest in its history and dramatic beauty has made it a premier travel destination.
The landscape of Santorini
The houses, built in the local vernacular, are spacious grottos tunneled into the sheer multicolored cliffs of the caldera, their façade slightly protruding from the edge of the cave. They appear to grow naturally out of the rocky landscape, which is set against a sweeping expanse of sea and sky. The homes are secluded, accessible via a stepped walkway, yet are well integrated into the town of Firostefani. Bordering the edge of a blue-tiled pool is a generous terrace that links all three homes and offers sweeping views of the caldera and the volcano.
Activities in Santorini
In addition to spectacular views, Santorini has tremendous history and culture, as well as several leisure activities during the day and some of the most vibrant nightlife in the Mediterranean.